OK so let’s start today’s post with a conundrum are you stuck for a gift idea for your loved one ? And/or stick for something to do this weekend. Well, if the answer is YES to either or both of these questions, start packages a bag for yourself and your better half and prepare to recieve a lifetime of brownie points as we bestowe you with the contents to a fantastically, festive, fun filled weekend ahead. We’ve selected three destinations, all within the British Isles that will offer you a jaunt away, which will encapsulate the essence of Christmas and be sure to get you into the Christmassy mood, if you aren’t already.
Britain is a wonderful and full of amazing, one off characters and today’s short film showcases one of theses wonderful people, be sure to check it out.
A stone’s throw from Bath Train Station, in the heart of the city, you will discover one of the oldest and award winning Christmas Markets – one of the largest festive events in the UK, with over 170 stalls and certainly has to be in the running for the most beautiful. Perfectly located in the centre of Bath’s main shopping area and entwined with well-loved high street brands, of course House of Fraser, you can’t fail to be impressed and surely you’ll find everything you are looking for. Give yourself a treat this festive season and get your Christmas shopping ‘wrapped up’ in one magical day at Bath Christmas Market.
Eat – The Pump rooms – Trust us this really is an experience, like stepping back in time, nestled within the world heritage site of the ancient Roman Baths. The Pump Room Restaurant is one of the city’s most elegant places to enjoy stylish, modern-British cuisine. It is open daily for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. All the while the Pump Room Trio or pianist serenades you to add to your enjoyment.
Drink – The Bar at the Royal Crescent – The iconic Royal Crescent Hotel is situated in one of the most famous crescents in the world. Designed by the architect John Wood the Younger and built between 1767 and 1774, it’s among the greatest examples of Georgian architecture to be found in the World. Escape the hustle and bustle and take a breather away from the Christmas Markets and maybe even partake in a mince pie and Mulled wine in the Library.
Sleep – The Halcyon – The Halcyon Boutique Hotel has created a relexed, casual but sumptuous kind of luxury. So you’ll get a stunning Grade I listed Georgian townhouse in a to-die-for Bath city centre location, tip-top technology, organic breakfasts, a sleep enducing bed. But you won’t find a wallet lightening price tag to match. The hotel offers 21 serviced luxury hotel rooms, all ensuite, all doubles. But ! If you’d prefer you can have your cake and eat it at the Halcyon Appartments, seven spacious, modern but in keeping with the Georgian feel of Bath, Appartments. Blending the space and privacy of your own city centre pad with the kind of hotel services you wish you had at home.
The Manchester Christmas Markets are now the largest in the the country and attracts shoppers from, literally, all over the UK and beyond, the market has put Manchester firmly on the Christmas map – the Christmas Market has become not only a great place to shop but also a hugely popular social destination in its own right. No Mancunian winter is complete without a wander through the chalet-lined streets of the markets. This year it will feature nearly 350 stalls spanning 10 distinctive market sites, each with its own distinct character and atmosphere, transforming the city centre in to a festive wonderland.
Eat – Hawksmoor – Part of the highly successful Hawksmoor group and currently the only outpost outside of London. This eatery is conveniently located in the former Victorian Courthouse on the city’s Deansgate area. The restaurant offers relaxed dining in a suitably ole world surroundings with some of the reclaimed features coming from diverse homes as glazed bricks from a public lavatory and the parquet flooring coming from another former courthouse. Not just a meat eaters paradise, OK vegetarians might have to stick to the Sides menu, but it also offers a selection of great quality seafood.
Drink – Kosmonaught – Maybe not the easiest to find but well worth the search and inspired by the bars in New York’s meatpacking district. Kosmonaught is housed in Manchester’s stylish and Uber trendy Northern Quarter and has a laid back and welcoming atmosphere, offering you everything from artisan beers to excellent coffee, formally a cotton warehouse the cafe bar has taken full advantage of its originally features.
Sleep – Hotel Gotham – One of the newest additions to Manchester’s increasingly interesting, independent, Luxury, design led hotel network is the Hotel Gotham. It accommodates 60 individually designed guestrooms all working to a soothing monochrome and neutral colour palette. The Hotel was formally a imposing branch of the Midland Bank, designed in a Art Deco style and stands at 100 Kings Street amongst examples of both Grecian and Baroque architecture. The hotel offers a sense of theatre and adventure with its brand of Luxury is based around the golden age of travel.
We are concentrating on what we consider to be one, if not the best Christmas Markets in the capital, the Winter Markets wooden chalets clustered along the South bank of the River Thamas, traditionally the venue for Olde London Town’s Wintermas Festival when the Thamas would freeze over. Stretching from practically Borough Market, well worth a visit in its own rights, so killing two birds with one stone, right the way down past the London Eye. The walk along the stalls of the Southbank takes in many of the Capital’s sites and famous attractions including, the aforementioned Borough Market, the Golden Hind, the Millenium Bridge, Tate Modern, St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament.
Eat – Edwins – Above the Trinity pub, so call in for a pint beforehand, sits the hidden gem that is Edwins an award winning restaurant and former Curiosity shop of the Borough market area, who’s proprietor was Mr Edwin Brady. Offering its take of Modern European cuisine including Scallops in filo, harissa mayo and braised short ribs with leek and potato gratin and roasted root vegetables. Plus just a short walk from the South Bank festivities.
Drink – The Roebuck – Nestled away on Great Dover Street but brilliantly located at no more than a 10 minute walk from either Borough, Elephant & Castle or London Bridge Underground Stations is the impressive Victorian building that is the Roebuck. Perfect for a mulled wine or offers a broad selection of beers and ales from around the world. Take the weight off your feet and escape the madding crowd in this large, airy pub which boasts a great upstairs function room, packed with period fixtures and an indeterminate charm.
Sleep – Shangri-La Hotel – Push the boat out and spoil yourselves with a stay at the Shrangri-La Hotel located at the feat of architecture that is The Shard. The 34th to 52nd floors of Renzo Piano’s iconic building is the Shangri-La’s first property in the UK. Floor to ceiling windows in the 185 finely appointed guestrooms and 17 spectacular suites showcase breathtaking views of vibrant London, which enable you to watch the life of the city unfold along the River Thames. Culinary wise you are spoilt for choice, not only are you offered 24-hour in-room dining but TĪNG the Signature restaurant and lounge on level 35 Or GŎNG a real destination bar in every sense of the word on level 52 and LÁNG an artisan deli and cake shop on the ground floor. Along with all the trappings you’d expect with a 5* hotel of this standing take full advantage and treat yourself to a dip in the hotel’s indoor infinity pool on level 52 with its outstanding views of London.